In the wake of the Five Dubia about Amoris laetitia submitted by the Four Cardinals, one of The Four has been again interviewed. His Eminence Raymond Card. Burke was interviewed about the Five Dubia by the National Catholic Register‘s Edward Pentin, probably the best English language vaticanista in Rome these days.
His Eminence touches on many helpful points in explaining what The Four did and why they did it. He also responds to some theoretical questions about the role of the Pope and what happens if there is error.
You should read the whole thing, but here is a taste of the core section of the interview:
Without the clarification you are seeking, are you saying, therefore, that this and other teaching in Amoris Laetitia go against the law of non-contradiction (which states that something cannot be both true and untrue at the same time when dealing with the same context)?
Of course, because, for instance, if you take the marriage issue, the Church teaches that marriage is indissoluble, in accord with the word of Christ, “He who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery.” Therefore, if you are divorced, you may not enter a marital relationship with another person unless the indissoluble bond to which you are bound is declared to be null, to be nonexistent. But if we say, well, in certain cases, a person living in an irregular marriage union can receive holy Communion, then one of two things has to be the case: Either marriage really is not indissoluble — as for instance, in the kind of “enlightenment theory” of Cardinal [Walter] Kasper, who holds that marriage is an ideal to which we cannot realistically hold people. In such a case, we have lost the sense of the grace of the sacrament, which enables the married to live the truth of their marriage covenant — or holy Communion is not communion with the Body and Blood of Christ. Of course, neither of those two is possible. They contradict the constant teachings of the Church from the beginning and, therefore, cannot be true.
Some will see this initiative through a political lens and criticize it as a “conservative vs. liberal” move, something you and the other signatories reject. What is your response to such an accusation?
Our response is simply this: We are not taking some kind of position within the Church, like a political decision, for instance. The Pharisees accused Jesus of coming down on one side of a debate between the experts in Jewish Law, but Jesus did not do that at all. He appealed to the order that God placed in nature from the moment of creation. He said Moses let you divorce because of your hardness of heart, but it was not this way from the beginning. So we are simply setting forth what the Church has always taught and practiced in asking these five questions that address the Church’s constant teaching and practice. The answers to these questions provide an essential interpretative tool for Amoris Laetitia. They have to be set forth publicly because so many people are saying: “We’re confused, and we don’t understand why the cardinals or someone in authority doesn’t speak up and help us.”
It’s a pastoral duty?
That’s right, and I can assure you that I know all of the cardinals involved, and this has been something we’ve undertaken with the greatest sense of our responsibility as bishops and cardinals. But it has also been undertaken with the greatest respect for the Petrine Office, because if the Petrine Office does not uphold these fundamental principles of doctrine and discipline, then, practically speaking, division has entered into the Church, which is contrary to our very nature.
Towards the end, the Cardinal responds to questions about what might have to happen in the Church should it be determined that the Holy Father has taught error, which he won’t then correct on his own. Mind you, these points were raised by the interviewer. Card. Burke responded, as a good and diligent teacher would about a theoretical situation. However, I foresee that some will claim that Card. Burke was himself calling for what he described to the interviewer. That is not the case, but they will try to smear Card. Burke. But what else is new? When it comes to Burke Derangement Syndrome, reason and fairness take flight through the windows.